The kingdom cross of Christ is not a symbol, carved image or iron bar made of gold or silver. It’s neither the stick people knit together to decorate their houses or churches nor the plastic or rubber which they use to adorn their body.
The cross is more than that. In fact, the cross is a mystery that only the Holy Spirit can help us to understand.
You may take your dictionary to check the meaning of the cross, but I doubt you can find any definition related to the truth I’m about to share with you here.
Dictionaries can’t give you the proper meaning of the Kingdom Cross because the cross is not physical. It’s a spiritual reality that can only be understood with the spiritual mindset.
The kingdom cross Christ is not what you can see, it’s not what you can sense; it’s not what you can touch or feel. The cross is something you can understand only by faith.
There are two kinds of cross the bible talks about, Your cross and the cross of Christ.
A. Your Cross
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. Matthew 16:24
And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. Luke 14:27
There is a cross you must carry after Jesus. There is a cross I must carry after the Lord. Or let’s put it this way: if you are a Christian, a believer of the kingdom, you have a cross you must carry after Jesus if you want to follow Him. This is your cross.
You can’t throw it away and follow Him. I can’t follow the Master either without carrying my cross along. We can’t make any progress in our walk with Jesus without having our cross with us, mine with me and yours with you.
Your cross is very important to you in your spiritual walk and it is completely compulsory for me to carry my cross with me to follow Jesus.
But this is where the problem is: many people have ignorantly substituted something else, which is far from the course for their cross. We have been made to believe many things which are not a cross at all to be our cross.
Many young believers are being persuaded to keep on carrying, enduring and managing what they were meant to let go out of their lives.
None of the listed challenges is a cross to be carried after Jesus. Instead, they are to be given up completely to the Lord: sorrow, sickness, barrenness, poverty, affliction, broken heart, miscarriages, to mention but few.
For Christ’s sake, these are not your cross. Jesus was not asking His disciples to carry sickness as their cross because none of them was a sickler. So the cross He was talking about can never be anything related to sickness or trouble.
Every one of us comes to Christ in different situations and with different challenges. Some come with sickness while some with afflictions of the devil. Some people come to Christ with their recurrent disappointment while some with broken or wounded hearts.
Carry the pieces of your mind as your cross after Jesus and you will never enjoy peace of mind; give the pieces of your mind up to Jesus and He will put you together, mend your broken heart and give you the peace of mind that you deserve.
You must let the word of God get into your head. Whatever you prohibit on earth will be prohibited in heaven, and whatever you allow on earth will be allowed in heaven.
Don’t allow the devil to tell you lies that the challenges that make you cry is your cross. There is a big difference between your cry and your cross.
Yes, Jesus had said that in life we shall see a lot of troubles. Life is full of ups and downs.
Many Christians are struggling to make ends meet, many are praying against one challenge or the other.
People who are believing God for a miracle must keep on praying and trusting God for answers to their prayers. But they must never take those challenges as their cross, or else they will be required to bear them forever.
The cross is not a thing that’s meant to be put down. It is something we must always carry as we follow the Master. In this light, your troubles cannot be your cross.
That sickness is not yours. That poverty is not your cross. That barrenness is not your own. You can put them down. The first step to victory is to discover they are not yours. Then you can now stand up against them in persistent prayer and expect your victory and testimony.
If you’re still not sure whether the problem is your cross or not, I have a question for you.
If poverty is your cross, then why are you telling God to take away your poverty? If your barrenness is your cross why are you asking God to take it away? No! God can’t take away your cross, and if He does that means you are finished.
A preacher once told us this true-life story, “One day a sister came to me and says, ‘Pastor, I am seriously sick, and I know that my recurrent sickness is a cross given to me by the Lord.
I know that God gave me this cross so that I can learn how to humble myself. But now sir, I’m tired of carrying it, so, please pray for me to be free from this sickness.’
I asked her to kneel for prayer and I prayed for her like this: dear heavenly Father, your daughter said that she is suffering from a recurrent sickness and that you are the one who gave her the sickness as a cross to carry, so that she may learn humility.
Therefore I pray oh Lord, give her more power to carry her cross. Let the sickness not go away, but in your kindness, give her more and more sickness so that she can learn more humility.
Immediately, she opened her eyes and began to tell me how wrong my prayer was. Then I began schooling her on how she needed a mentality change.
Even if the cross is going to be suffering it won’t be my suffering, it won’t be your suffering; it will invariably be the suffering of Christ. And the suffering of Christ is our peace, our health, our strength, our power.
Now, what is your cross?
The cross you are required to carry after Jesus is the spiritual qualities and resources you needed in your walk with God. It’s as simple as that.
Throw them away and you are nowhere to be found. Carry them with you and you are on your way to victory.
The Fruit of the Spirit: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such, there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 NKJV
The Fruit of the Spirit is the evidence, the proof of the presence of the Holy Spirit in us. We cannot carry the Holy Spirit in us and not bear His fruit, and we cannot bear His fruit unless we have Him dwelling in us.
The Holy Spirit comes into our hearts when we accept Jesus into our lives. And thereafter as we live our lives according to his directives and leadings, we grow and bear His fruit. The more we allow the Holy Spirit to work in us, the more we bear His fruit.
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control are all SEEDS of the Spirit. Nine of them put together make a complete fruit.
The fruit of the Spirit can be likened to an orange fruit that has nine seeds in it. Each of the seeds represents a good virtue but the nine cannot be put apart because they all make a single fruit.
Wherever you see love, you will also see joy; wherever there is joy there will be peace; anywhere you see kindness you will also see faithfulness, and also in whomsoever you find gentleness, self-control is not far from such a fellow.
You cannot pick love and throw joy away. You cannot have patience and lack self-control, it’s not possible. If you miss any of these seeds then you missed the whole fruit.
The Fruit of the Spirit is very essential in our walk with Jesus. We cannot survive without the nine seeds in us. And we cannot be an effective disciple of the Lord unless we bear fruit of the Spirit.
Faith: Faith is a cross you must carry along with you in your walk with Jesus to enjoy a lasting fellowship and relationship with Him. Remember, it’s impossible to please God without faith.
Someone once said, “Faith is a spiritual immune system which filters out all fears that would otherwise paralyze all godly activities”.
We have not seen God, yet we want to walk with Him, this will be impossible if we will not carry our faith with us.
Many distractions and terrifying obstacles are on the rugged highway of heavenly race; hence to walk through successfully we need to carry our faith along with us.
According to Gen 5: 21-25, Enoch walked with God and he was translated, taken away. How could a man possibly serve God such that God decided to take him away suddenly without having to test the bitter taste of death?
What was it that God saw in Enoch that made Him draw him home in such a glorious way? What distinguished Enoch from the rest of his generation? What makes his walk with God a super-successful one? …
By faith, Enoch was taken from this life so that he did not experience death Hebrews 11:5.
It would have been very impossible for Abraham to walk with God successfully if he had lacked faith in his life. The secret of Abraham pleasing God and becoming the father of nations is faith.
His success, his blessing, his increase, his victory and every other thing, he got them because his faith was not aborted in the halfway of the wilderness experience.
Abram would have turned back to his father’s land and their idolatry when he was faced with the hard-life of the wilderness if not for the driving force of faith working inside of him.
By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.
By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:
For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. Hebrews 11:8-10 KJV
We can never make any meaningful progress in our walk with Jesus without the quality faith working in us. If we must be a disciple of Jesus, we must carry our faith with us in our walk with Him. Our faith is the propeller that will motivate us when everything else works against us.
Your spiritual gifts and talents: There is a good lesson for us to learn from the story of the three servants in Matthew 25:14-25.
None of them was without talent. They all possessed the God-given ability to do exploits.
They were all carriers of godly endowment. They were all given the grace to succeed in their walk with their master.
But one of them, the ungrateful one, looked down on what he had. He belittled the grace of God in his life. He was beholding another man’s talent forgetting that he too has something to start with.
And eventually, he did the worst thing ever- he threw that precious talent away! He buried the grace of God and continued to live his life as if nothing bad has happened. He has allowed the spirit of jealousy to drive him crazy. Envy was driving him to perdition yet he never knew it.
There is no Christian without a spiritual gift and talent. These treasures are in us to be used for the Lord as we walk with Him.
Spiritual gifts and talents are crosses to be carried after Jesus. Mine is mine and yours is yours. We cannot throw them away and think we can make any meaningful progress in our walk with Him. We cannot bury them and succeed in Christ.
I remember once upon a time when I used to be envious of some brethren because of their spiritual gifts.
I see them doing what I have always wanted God to use me for. So I thought maybe God didn’t like me the way He like them. Like the foolish guy with one talent, I acted. I thought I had nothing. I thought what I had was not enough for me.
I was being driven by the spirit of comparison. As I was busy beholding the beauty of other people’s gifts, mine was steadily going down the graveyard route.
Until the light dawned on me, then I realized there are things I can do easily which they can’t. That was when I received healing in my mentality.
What you need in your walk with God is what you have been given, and what you have is what you are required to bear after the Master.
It is better never to have it in the first place than to have it covered with a bushel. Spiritual gifts are not meant for decoration. They are not to be passive but active in us. God gave them to us as individuals to profit (benefit) His church as a whole. That’s why 1 Corinthians 12:6-7 says,
“And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal”. KJV
Stop looking at another man’s cross. Carry yours!
Your Christian service: Our walk with God is very important, likewise our work for God. Our responsibility in the house of God, our duties in God’s household, what we have been called to do as individuals should never be taken with negligence. The bible says:
But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. James 2:18 ESV.
Our faith in God should drive us to work for him. We cannot have a successful or fruitful walk with God without working for Him.
What are you called to do? What work are you doing in your church? How faithful are you in doing it? Are you a chorister, an usher, a deacon, instrumentalist, or what?
What are you doing for God? You cannot remain a casual church member forever. You’ve got to become a worker in God’s vineyard.
Your work for God is your cross. Yours is not mine and mine is not the same as yours. Discover what it is and carry it in your walk with the master. We cannot put them down and succeed in our walk with Him. We will never be a disciple Jesus wants if we will not work for Him.
Armour of God: Disciples of Christ are soldiers of Christ, and as necessary as armour is to worldly soldiers so it is with the soldiers of the Cross.
You cannot be an effective soldier of Jesus without you wearing the full armour of God. There are many temptations on the way, persecutions are so numerous, enemies are on the rampage, hence the need to wear a complete armour to protect ourselves from the wiles of the evil ones.
It’s good to be zealous and courageous, but to be a follower of the Lord you need effective weapons of war to carry on with. A soldier of the cross must put on the whole armour of God and use them by the power of the spirit. The word of God is one powerful weapon and prayer is its twin brother. Ephesians 6:10-18
A disciple will be effective and defensive and protective only if he’s guarded with the belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, gospel of peace, shield of faith, helmet of salvation, sword of the Spirit and prayer at all times in the Spirit.
If we care not about all these then we do not care to be a disciple of the Lord.
B. The Cross of Christ
The cross of Christ to Christ himself means suffering, pain, anguish and sorrow, distress and death but to us, believers, it is life, redemption, and reconciliation.
The cross of Christ bridges the gap between God and humanity. It serves as a link that connects God and man once again.
The cross of Christ is an invisible spiritual symbol of redemption. It is the power that restores man to his hitherto forfeited fellowship with God.
It is the cross of Christ that gives us the privilege to come to God in boldness. If not for the cross of Christ, life wouldn’t have been in us.
The cross of Christ brings man to his right standing with God. It’s the cross of Christ that puts apart the veil in the temple, giving us the power and authority to enter into the most holy places in our fellowship with God.
Whenever you see people celebrating Good Friday, they are doing so in reference to the day Jesus died a shameful death on the cross. It is a good day for us because it’s the day that Jesus paid all our debt and bought us with a price.
It was the day the work of our salvation was completed on the cross. That was the day the precious blood of atonement was shed once and for all. It was the day God displays His love for humanity.
But the day for Jesus was a day filled with agony, distress, sorrow and anguish. It’s the day that Jesus went through hell so that we will not have to go into it anymore.
It was the day the Lord carried all our sorrow and curse on himself. It was the day He became a curse so that we can become the blessed of God.
Now, what is the cross of Christ?
The cross of Christ is the gospel of our Lord Jesus. It is the good news of Christ. It comprises the death of Christ and its benefits to humanity.
The cross of Christ is the word of life, word of redemption, the word of reconciliation, grace and freedom.
For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect. 1 Corinthians 1:17
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:17-18 NKJV
Now note this about the cross of Christ
1. The cross is the gospel. It is now evident that the gospel is the cross of Christ. To unbelievers it is foolishness. But to us who are saved, it is the power of God unto salvation.
When we say the preaching of the cross we mean the preaching of the gospel and vice versa. The two instances below will confirm this claim.
In Philippians 3:18, apostle Paul talked about the enemy of the cross of Christ. Who are the enemies of the cross he was talking about? They are the enemies of the gospel.
Also in Philemon 1:2, Paul says,
“…and to our sister, Apphia and Archippus, a fellow soldier of the cross…”
Who are the soldiers of the cross that Paul was referring to? They are the soldiers of the gospel.
2. The cross can be preached. For the preaching of the cross is…
Our suffering, poverty, sickness, etc., cannot be preached. In fact, we should not preach our experience. There’s nothing powerful in all of these to save a sinner’s soul from the peril of hell.
The only thing we are asked to preach is the cross of Christ which is the same as the gospel of Christ.
3. Now this: For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness but to us, it is the power of God
God is all-powerful, but the only way by which He can save is through the message of the gospel. Here’s the reason: the message of the gospel alone is the power that God had by which men can obtain salvation.